Instagram Tips | By Michelle Moore

Instagram Tips

As all locals know, summer in the PNW is the most beautiful time of year.  The rain has subsided, the sun is shining and all the blues and greens of the mountains and lakes are gleaming.  From hiking, to boating and hanging with your friends, the most accessible camera you will have is your phone.  Even as a professional photographer, I use my iPhone when I’m out and about, and so I’ve put together a list of my most useful Instagram tips when using your phone (and sharing to social media) this summer!


 My favorite tip for taking iPhone photos – especially when you want to upload to Instagram – is to hold your phone horizontal and at chest-level.  Leave extra space on the left and right of your subject, and you’ll have the perfect square crop every time!  Holding your camera at chest height gets you the best angle for everyone in the photo.

C16Q0124 When you’re out with friends and you want to take a good group shot, you’ll want to make sure you are all are in the best light to get a great photo!  Look for someplace that is shaded, but make sure you are all facing the brightest part of the sky.  You never want the sun behind you, because your faces will be too dark for the photo.  Either gather in the shade, or all face the sun (and wear your sunnies so you aren’t squinting!)  Finally – ask someone to snap the photo for you and be sure they take a few images so you can choose the best one.


 The same goes for getting a good selfie.  You’ll want to be in the shade, or facing the sun – but never with the sun behind you.  The front camera is awesome, because it allows you to see what you are doing, so go ahead and snap a few to see what angles and light you like – but then I’d recommend flipping your phone around and using the back camera for a higher quality photo (the front camera is not as good as the back camera and can look more grainy).  This can be a bit trickier to master, but you can use the volume buttons on the side of your iPhone to snap away. To the get most out of your selfie, hold the phone slightly above you, and at an angle.  Have fun!


Get creative with burst mode – or video!  Did you know that if you hold down your iPhone camera button it triggers “burst mode”?  You can use this when trying to get the right moment of an action shot – and select the best image later.  Your iPhone also has two awesome video settings, “time-lapse” and “slo-mo” which are really fun to experiment with when capturing anything that moves!


Use editing apps to make your photos look their best!  I recommend VSCO or Litely for editing, and then you can use Layout, Afterlight or Over to make collages, add borders and/or text!


 I always recommend using your phone’s camera app to take photos, then upload to Instagram later. This way you can use the above editing apps, and still keep the original copy if you want to edit it again later.


 Once you upload to Instagram, tag your friends, or use hashtags to notate your event or location.  Hashtags are a great tool if your account is set to public and you want other people to find and like your images.


 Finally, please remember – When out on an adventure, practice safety and responsibility.  Make sure you are not trespassing and remember – your life is never worth a “cool” photo.  Pay attention to your surroundings, and never take photos or video while driving.  Climbing on old bridges, train tracks, etc. can be dangerous and deadly.  Remember to have fun and keep yourself and your friends safe this summer!


Want to read more of Michelle’s favorite iPhone tips?  Check out more on her blog,

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